On tap this week are a celebration of all things modern, a stage drama about a tuneful jealous husband, a creepy family musical, a happy street festival in Houston's coolest cultural district and an absurdly fun anything-goes artsy fundraiser.
Houston Modern Market Week
Winter Street Studios transforms into a modern wonderland for this three-day event that includes a market, film screenings, lectures, architecture tours, book signings, a vintage car show, exhibitions and so on. While learning more about the design aesthetic surely has merit, I'm all about the retail therapy courtesy of the numerous vendors that offer one-of-a-kind finds such as furniture, jewelry, clothing, fine art, housewares and more.
As with events that include shopping, the early bird gets the worm. Plan on attending the preview at 6 p.m. Friday ($50) to make sure no one claims what should rightfully belong to you.
Houston Grand Opera presents Otello
If Desdemona had a sassy gay friend, she could have avoided death by strangulation courtesy of a resentful hubby who thought that finding her handkerchief all over Cassio's "keyboard" meant that she was doing the nasty with the captain. But then we wouldn't have a timeless storyline set to song or a painfully beautiful "Ave Maria" before the wife takes her last breath. That's not a world I'd like to imagine.
HITS Theatre presents The Addams Family
I think of this musical as a charmingly creepy and not-so-gay version of West Side Story — because gangs don't spontaneously break into choreographed mambos and because no one gets killed. One of the most famous unorthodox families in show biz teaches us one thing: Who cares what other people think.
This HITS Theatre production exudes a new found energy courtesy of a lanky blonde, interim artistic director Lauren Pastorek. The native Houstonian, whose parents have been longtime musicians with the Houston Symphony, knows how to inspire students to give their all. Plus you can expect this family-friendly musical to remind you that when you think you're crazy, there's always someone "crazier than you."
East End Street Fest
Houstonians should know by now that EaDo is the new cool kid on the block, its revitalization giving those looking for a community with character a reason to buy homes, set up businesses, pay homage to its history and, of course, party. That's pretty much what this outdoor gathering is, a party that celebrates its new designation as a Cultural District with music by Mango Punch and David Lee Garza, a taco contest, dance lessons, vendors, food and the typical accouterments of happy al fresco happenings.
What's surely not typical of these types of events is the marching band extravaganza that includes the University of Houston Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, Austin High School Sonic Boom and Milby High School Marching Thunder. This "Afoot" parade is presented as part of Houston Arts Alliance's Transported + Renewed initiative that spotlights the East End as a thriving destination that's critical in defining Houston's past, present and future.
BooTown's Second Annual Bash "A celebration of all things wonderful and weird"
We've loved BooTown's Grown-up Storytime series, we've laughed through so many Benshi-style performances and we've thought, what's wrong with you people, at almost all of the group's shadow puppet spectacles. Now it's time to support this unorthodox art presenter by revving it up until you wake up next to randy unicorn — it just might happen.
Grab a buddy for this fundraiser that includes dancing, performances, puppet pageants, good grub and good bevs. Attire? Utterly absurd.
CultureMap contributor and nightlife queen Marcy de Luna's pick: First Ever Annual Anniversary-ish Surprise Party at Grand Prize
Marcy says: "The Montrose-area bar hosts its inaugural in-house shindig. It's not Halloween yet, but you can still have some wickedly good fun shaking your boooo-ty to tunes by A Fistful of Soul and imbibing spirit-based treats. We're willing to bet you can even turn a trick or two at this adult-only bash. Shazam."
The skinny: Saturday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; Grand Prize; no cover.
Staff writer and resident food nerd Eric Sandler's pick: Sweet and Savory, The Last Bite
Eric says: "Twice a year, pastry chef Rebecca Masson gathers her chef friends for a fundraising dinner to benefit Lucky Dog Rescue. For the 10th and final event, Masson is going out with a bang, gathering almost two dozen chefs, bartenders and somms for what's sure to be an epic bash that will do a lot of good for homeless pets.
"What do you get for $150? Cocktails by Grand Prize co-owner Ryan Rouse; courses from top Houston chefs like Coppa's Brandi Key, Reef's Ryan Lachaine and Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan from The Pass and Provisions; and wine selections from Houston Wine Merchant's Antonio Gianola. It's a freaking steal."
The skinny: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.; 5226 Elm; tickets are $150.